Barrabool Hills vegetation
Painting by Charles Norton 1846. Ceres looking back toward the You Yangs
Note 1 – Gingkos.
The fossilised leaves of an ancestor of Gingko biloba have been found in the Barrabool Hills sandstone. The Gingko genus was widespread in the dinosaur era during the Jurassic (190 – 135 Ma) and Cretaceous periods (135 – 65 Ma). Today Gingko biloba survives in south eastern China where plants have been known to live well over 1,000 years and are revered by Buddhist monks for their longevity. Gingko biloba has been planted worldwide and there is a magnificent mature female tree in the Geelong Botanical Gardens and a mature male and female tree in Johnstone Park.
Note 2 – Plant fossils.
Other plant fossils found in the Barrabool Hills sandstone include ferns, araucarias (ancient pines still found on the east coast of Australia) and horsetails (an ancient genus that once varied from tree size to a bristly tussock like plant. It survives today outside Australia in its smaller forms)
Note 3 – Ancient sands
The sands in the Barrabool Hills sandstone are sharp and angular suggesting that they haven’t travelled far in a river or creek. A long journey in a river would have worn down the sharp edges making them blunt and smooth like the rounded pebbles in a stream. This abrasion is caused by tumbling and rubbing along the river’s bottom.
Note 4 - The Barrabool Hills sandstone.
The locally known as the Barrabool Hills freestone, is rich in the green mineral feldspar which weathers to a warm golden brown colour. It has been a popular building material locally but has a tendency to deteriorate (fret) if used as foundation stones at the base of walls. Above ground it is durable and has been used in many of the historic homes and public buildings in and around Ceres. Christ Church in Geelong and Ormond College at Melbourne University are built with the Barrabool Hills freestone.
Note 5 – The Waurn Ponds Limestone
These deep Limestone deposits were formed about 30 Ma ago when the sea invaded most of southern Victoria. The shallow warm seas were particularly rich in marine life around Geelong and were mined at Fyansford to produce Portland cement. They contain shelly marine fossils as well as the occasional sharks tooth.
Note 5 - Typical species of the Brigalow dry forests of southern Queensland and northern NSW.
Typical rainfall is 750 - 500 mm
Typical rainfall is 750 - 500 mm
- Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla) are the tallest trees, and form the upper canopy layer. This canopy is between 9m and 25m tall.
- Other acacia species are A. cambagei, Gidgie (12m); A. shirleyi, Lancewood (14m); A. catenulata, Bendee (12m)
- Quandong, Santalum acuminatum; Sandalwood, Santalum spicatum.
- Canopy cover can vary from 20% to 80%.
- Other canopy trees may include belah (Casuarina cristata), red bauhinia (Lysiphyllum carronii) and the Queensland bottle tree (Brachychiton rupestris).
- Eucalypts, e.g. poplar box (Eucalyptus populnea), Dawson gum (E. cambageana)) and other wattles (e.g. gidgee (Acacia cambagei), may also be present in the tree layer.
- The shrub layer often includes wilga (Geijera parviflora), false sandalwood (Eremophila mitchellii) and yellowwood (Terminalia oblongata), but can also include many other species.
- The ground layer (including grasses) is generally sparse.
- There can be wide variation in the types and density of shrubs, small trees and canopy trees, which may relate to the local climate, soil type and how the site has been managed.